Oher's Ole Miss ties may be hard to break

Memphis OL will announce at 3:00

Michael Oher's time has come. It is at 3:00 on Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound offensive lineman from Memphis Briarcrest Christian will announce his college destination today.

Oher said he was still deciding among Ole Miss, LSU, and Tennessee but has his decision "80 percent" made.

Parental and coaching influences may be tough to overcome for the Tigers and Vols. Oher's guardians for the past two years are Ole Miss graduates and his high school head coach, Hugh Freeze, is in discussions with Ole Miss to join the Rebels staff.

"It would be a big factor because I would have somebody down there that I know," Oher said of the possibility that Freeze might coach in Oxford. "It would help my decision out a lot."

Freeze said he has not been offered a job by Ole Miss and the interest comes from a 10-year relationship with Rebels offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone.

"He would like to see me there," Freeze said. "It's enticing to go if something opens up, but at this point I don't have anything."

The relationship between the coaches sparked conversations between Freeze and newly hired Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron.

"Coach O was very clear about when I first met him that if anything ever happened with me, it doesn't matter what Michael does," Freeze said. "It's Michael Oher's decision and us talking is totally different from that."

Freeze's credentials at Briarcrest include seven state titles in 13 years. Freeze has won two titles as head football coach and five as girls basketball coach.

"I think we've done a great job at our school before Michael was there and now," Freeze said. "This profession is all about who you know, anyway. Sure, it doesn't hurt the attention we get because of having Michael there. Again, the talks with me all stem from knowing Noel Mazzone."

Since Ole Miss first showed interest in Freeze, he has been forced to balance being a candidate for an SEC job and one of Oher's closest advisors.

"I told him from day one he needs to do what he wants to do. This is his decision," Freeze said. "He's the one that has to play for the coaches. It's a tough decision on the young man.

"I hope that I don't play a major role in it. I really don't want to. I hope that Ole Miss would talk to me whether Michael goes there or not. I don't control that. I hope Michael's decision is based on where he wants to go."

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